Getting right back on track following the demise of Oldham Coliseum, former CEO and artistic director Chris Lawson directs a show he probably couldn't have staged in Oldham, Sarah Kane's Crave, at 52two, Manchester (May 31-June 4).
Lawson said: "Directing Crave has been medicinal. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of theatre to make us confront our emotions and begin to heal, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to what I love – making theatre.”
One of the late playwright's later works, Crave (1998) is a personal, slightly anonymous and poetic meditation on the meaning of love, or rather the pain of love. It marked a change of direction, of sorts, for the writer, whose earlier plays were renowned for onstage violence. This one is similarly dark, as one might expect from a playwright greatly challenged, and eventually destroyed, by her own mental condition.
Kane left the play subject to variations: four characters - an undescribed older man and woman and a younger man and woman, without so much as a stage direction – and published it at first under a pseudonym to avoid too many references to her notorious earlier plays.
This production comes from HER Productions, Hannah Ellis Ryan's Manchester's-based company, which is also preparing an all-woman version of King Lear for Hope Mill Theatre in June.
The cast features Jake Ferretti as A, Etta Fusi as M, Matthew Heywood as B and Elizabeth Meddows as C.
Jake Ferretti is a qualified mental health first aider as well as an actor, and hosts his own podcast, My Sh**ty Actor Boyfriend, in which he speaks to creatives about their mental health.
Jake said: “Sarah Kane is unlike any other writer I’ve worked on. I feel a particular affinity with her: perhaps it's that her mental health had such a deep effect on her – which ultimately, would prove too much for her to bear.”
Etta Fusi is a performer and artist from Hull. Her work as an actor has varied from SHTF in Vienna to A Streetcar Named Desire at Manchester's Royal Exchange.
Matthew Heywood’s theatre credits include The Book Thief and other shows in Bolton; Robin Hood (Exeter Northcott); ZORRO (Charing Cross Theatre/Hope Mill Theatre) and FIB (Kimbo Theatre).
Elizabeth Meddows graduated from Manchester School of Theatre in 2022, and playing C will be her debut theatre role.
More info and tickets here